Voice recognition software is a godsend for business professionals on the go.
The ability to accurately turn talk into text is particularly handy for exporters who spend much of the year travelling the globe.
Previously, dictation software was only available for use on desktop computers.
Now, with the launch of Dragon Anywhere, Nuance has changed the game.
Last month, Nuance released its new Dragon Anywhere in Australia, a professional-grade dictation for Android & iOS mobile devices.
Powered by the cloud, Dragon Anywhere delivers the powerful, professional productivity features of Dragon desktop speech recognition to these devices.
Recently, I was invited to try the new software on my iPhone – and I must admit I was sceptical.
How could a phone app emulate the high-quality output I can generate on a desktop, I pondered?
But soon after downloading the app (which took a matter of minutes) I was convinced that this is the real deal.
Speed and accuracy
Speaking clearly and concisely into the smart phone’s speaker, the Dragon Anywhere app allows you to send an audio file to a remote server, translates it into text and transfers it back to the screen of your iPhone – all within 4-5 seconds – and with about 90 percent accuracy.
If you make an error, fixing the text is easy. However, you have to memorise instructions, which can be frustrating at times.
Dragon Anywhere struggled with a couple of proper names, but that’s not unusual.
The good news is, Dragon Anywhere allows you to add custom words to the system to help solve that problem. It features a customizable user-defined dictionary. You can add words right in the application.
The cloud-based solution delivers additional flexibility and convenience for users as it can be accessed from multiple mobile devices with just a single subscription.
When completed, documents can be shared easily by email, via cloud-sharing tools like Dropbox, saved to note-taking apps like Evernote or shared with virtually any app via the clipboard.
The export format can be set to text, Microsoft Word, or Rich Text Format (RTF).
As with the Dragon desktop solutions, Dragon Anywhere improves its initial high level of accuracy as it learns a person’s unique voice.
I found Dragon Anywhere to be a more suitable and accurate dictation option than Siri.
Though Apple has improved its voice-dictation software and back-end servers, there remain some issues with Siri dictation that have yet to be solved. This includes the limited timer. Siri dictation only works long enough for you to dictate three or four sentences before shutting down (usually about 30-40 seconds). Very annoying.
Dragon Anywhere is the only mobile dictation solution that offers continuous dictation – no time or length limits.
It also offers robust voice formatting and editing, and customisation features that can be synchronised across devices.
There are no time or length constraints on the documents users choose to dictate.
You need a connection
You can use Dragon Anywhere while you’re on the move, but a warning – you need a live internet connection. So that rules out effective use on planes and most trains.
The software is cloud based and Nuance assures users that connections are encrypted to block others from listening in on your dictations.
Also, it’s miserly with data. You may only use 1MB-2MB dictating thousands of words.
Dragon Anywhere iPhone app is a convenient way to dictate text for busy professionals on the go. It can save time and help to improve productivity. It’s user-friendly and customisable for specific tasks.
It’s also a handy tool for compiling reports in the field and sharing information with office staff.
The app may not suit everyone – particularly those who need a keyboard to record their thoughts.
Also, the software is not cheap. Subscriptions start at A$22 per month to A$220 per year, which some may consider to be a costly investment.
But it can save time – and time is money.
Dragon Anywhere for Australia is available as a subscription service and can be purchased through the Nuance online store.
A one-week free trial is available for those interested in giving it a test run.
For more information click here.